Post office, Dębno
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

Zdjęcie panoramiczne tej lokalizacji jest niedostępne.

photo

It is an imposing building with lavish historicist structures characteristic of the late nineteenth-century architecture. The post office with the neighbouring buildings of the former printing house and residence of the Neumann family forms a representative frontage of the former market square, i.e., the main square of Dębno.

History

A post road from Kostrzyn through Dębno - Myślibórz to Malbork was opened in 1646. A post station was established in Kostrzyn and converted into a post office in 1735. In 1776, the post office was situated in the present-day 3-4 Bohaterów Września Street, known as Poststrasse (“Pocztowa Street”) at that time, and was the property of Westphal and Marks. It was located there until the 1840s. The next post office was situated at the intersection of Mickiewicza Street and Bohaterów Września Street in a more spacious building than the previous one, which was owned by the Plume family, which managed the postal system since 1787. However, as early as in 1858, the post office was relocated; this time, it was located in 10 Pocztowa Street; the new post office building belonged to the Vollstädt family and was adapted to serve as a “first-class post office” with a waiting room for travellers. The next office was situated in a house owned by Hedwig Rakow in 27 Pocztowa Street since 1881, and soon after it was relocated to the present-day 68 Mickiewicza Street. This last relocation proved to be necessary because of the need to service the two largest companies in Dębno, i.e., J. Neumann’s publishing plants operating since 1872 and a hat factory operating since 1880. Both companies provided a total of 80 per cent of all consignments (Neumann’s plants — approx. 30 per cent, and the hat factory — approx. 50 per cent). Since this building soon became too small, in 1891 the post office of Dębno was relocated to 2 Szara Street (Hindenburgstrasse). At that time, plans were to also use the nearby town hall building, but it was too small and in bad condition. To streamline the dispatch and receipt of consignments, the Neumann’s company installed a hidden conveyor belt across the street, but this solution was non-functional and inconvenient so it was decided to erect a new building this time designed specifically for use as a post office. The town authorities offered several plots of lands for this purpose, which were located next to the Market Square (the present-day Konstytucji 3 Maja Square); however, all of them were too small. Finally, Neumann was granted permission by the authorities to build a new post office building at his own expense, purchased two adjacent plots in the present-day 6 Armii Krajowej Street (then Richtstrasse), and built the currently existing building decorated in the Northern neo-Renaissance style in the early 20th century. It is known that the building existed as early as in 1908 and was equipped with a modern system supplying water from its own water intake and an power system supplying electricity from its own power-generating unit. The immediate vicinity of the building erected in 1891 and used as the company’s office and the residence of its owner improved the functioning of the Neumann’s plants. The post office building underwent renovation in 1936. In 1945, it was converted to a Soviet field hospital. On 5 July 1945, a Polish post office was opened in 7 Skwerowa Street in Dębno. On 10 December 1945, it was relocated to the former building, which underwent renovation involving replacing the roofs and window and door joinery. In 1958, the outbuilding was renovated and adapted for use as office and residential space. The outbuilding was extended upwards in 1962. Around 1964, in 1981 and 1994, the design and décor of the interior of the services part of the building were altered; in 1965 and 1976, the façades were renovated; and in 2008, the interior underwent renovations and alterations, the façades were renovated and the surrounding area was cleaned up.

Description

The post office building is located in the western old part of the town, in the western frontage of the present-day Armii Krajowej Street running from a spindle-like stretched market square to a church (now Konstytucji 3 Maja Square) in a southerly direction to Kostrzyn. Its main façade faces the east. The post office is adjacent to the building in 4 Armii Krajowej Street, which is the former residence of Julius Neumann, owner of a printing house, and headquarters of his company.

The building is decorated in the Northern neo-Renaissance style and consists of the main nave overlooking the street and a transverse wing (outbuilding) on the north side of the yard. The main body has two storeys, a basement, and is covered with a tall gable roof with three dormers in the front roof face and separate gable roofs over the front faux avant-corps and a gable roof with a hip end over the staircase from the yard. The two-storey outbuilding extended upwards after the war is covered with a low shed roof. The building is built of brick, and its roof is clad with ceramic roof tiles. The ceilings over the basement are massive, brick, segmental and flat. The ceilings over the other storeys feature a wooden structure. The front façade is symmetrical, eight-axial, and clad with red bricks with contrasting detail in plasterwork. It is divided by socle, string-course and crowning cornices. Two outermost axes are separated as faux avant-corps with openings topped with semicircular arches, which are used as the entrance gate from the south and the main entrance from the north; they are accentuated with balconies enclosed by a balustrade and pinnacles in the corners, crowned with gable ends. The face of the façade is adorned with prominent plastered rustication strips on the ground floor, in the corners of the first floor of the avant-corps, and at the level of window lintels on both storeys. The windows are framed by surrounds, with keystones in lintels on the ground floor, and with triangular pediments atop on the first floor. The top sections of the avant-corps have two storeys, feature pinnacles on the sides, and are topped with semicircular pediments decorated with a shell motif. The cornice crowning the central part features corbels and the inscription “POCZTA POLSKA S.A.” placed below. The main entrance is characterised by the preserved historic ornamental door joinery. The entire rear façade is clad with bricks, six-axial, and partitioned by modest brick cornices at the level of the plinth, window sills and lintels on both storeys, and topped with a cornice with corbels. The entrance from the year is situated in the faux avant-corps of the staircase, which juts out above the crowning cornice. The openings are topped with segmental arches, with lintels crowned with a cornice. The openings in the brick façade of the ground floor of the outbuilding are designed in a similar fashion. The interior of the main body features a two-bay layout with a passage to the south, two staircases in the outermost sections of the rear suite of rooms, and a large operating theatre in the front suite of rooms. The outbuilding features a single-bay layout. The original interior décor has been preserved only in the staircase.

The structure can be viewed from the outside. The interior is open to visitors during the opening hours of the post office.

compiled by Maciej Słomiński, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Szczecin, 06-08-2015.

Bibliography

  • Karty z dziejów Dębna - Karten aus der Geschichte von Neudamm, Dębno 2005, s. 59-61
  • Neudamm, die Industrie- und Handelsstadt der nordwestlichen Neumark, Neudamm 1927
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury i budownictwa, opr. K. Kalita-Skwirzynska, 1994 r., mps w WUOZ Szczecin

General information

  • Type: public building
  • Chronology: początek XX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Armii Krajowej 6, Dębno
  • Location: Voivodeship zachodniopomorskie, district myśliborski, commune Dębno - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

Licence:

report issue with this site

Geoportal Map

Google Map

See also in this area